Kanban, scrum or waterfall - which methodology is best for web development?

Important considerations need to be taken when your company embarks on a partnership with a software development company. What kind of methodology do you need? What is your project size and scope? What is your primary goal and time to release? Do you wish to use a particular management tool? Ultimately what is best for you, your company and your product?

In this short article, we give you some useful hints and tips to help you identify the most suitable solution to suit your needs.

Waterfall

Waterfall is the one of the oldest development methodologies, and it is still used worldwide by a diverse range of companies. It is based on a linear approach (no interaction) to the Software Development Life Cycle. The development team works step by step (phase after phase) from analysis and design to development and testing at the end of the product lifecycle.

This methodology is the right choice for you if your project has a fixed scope, the requirements have been finalised, and there is no or a low possibility that they will change during the development cycle. The development cycle is generally easy to manage, and can be seamlessly tracked even for non-experienced users. However, the Waterfall method is often inflexible when changes inevitably arise, and the system can create problems when adaptations are required.

Summary

  • Tested and Proven. 
  • Easy to manage and track.
  • Suitable for projects with a fixed scope.

Agile - Scrum

Scrum is an Agile methodology based on an iterative approach. Every iteration provides a working piece of product. The iteration outcome is constantly reviewed to check that it meets business and solution goals. If any update or change is needed, Scrum is ready to manage and apply it. Scrum was created to work with fluent and changing requirements. It is designed to implement the necessary changes to meet the project’s goals. If you work in a constantly changing environment, and your business needs to react quickly to customer demands, then Scrum is the right choice for you. You will have control over your product, and you can easily add changes and update the scope of your project to deliver what you need.

Scrum distinguishes several roles, events and artefacts. It has a structured process that can be very demanding at the start of a project, and it takes time and additional resources to manage and trace it properly. It may be challenging for inexperienced development teams and companies. Time and experience are crucial factors for success using this methodology.

Summary

Scrum can be demanding when it comes to managing and tracking projects. It is suitable for projects without a fixed scope.

Agile - Kanban

Kanban, like Scrum, is an Agile framework. Unlike Scrum, Kanban constantly provides small pieces of work (new features and functionalities), instead of delivering a working product after each iteration. It is commonly used in the maintenance stage of a project. Kanban’s core features include identifying what needs to be delivered, dividing projects into small work items and assigning those items to different team members. The goal is to strike and maintain the balance between what needs to be done and what is possible. Kanban has several elements like Kanban board, Kanban card (work items), and WIP (work-in-process limits) to manage work items. These features also help organisations to identify and remove bottlenecks.

Kanban is designed to be used alongside a working process that already exists within an organisation. Its’ function is to enhance that process and make it more efficient. Kanban is not as strict as Scrum, and it is more flexible and easier to manage.

Summary

Kanban is suitable for supporting the maintenance and delivery of smaller portions of work. It is much less strict than Scrum, and it is easier to manage and trace.

Final summary

Kanban, Scrum and Waterfall are three of the most widely used web development methodologies. The modern trend governing development methodologies today is to keep an iterative approach and focus on delivering value to customers in the short and long term. The question is, which method is the best? The answer depends on what you and your company need. At HeadChannel, we work hard to identify and understand your needs. We draw on our wealth of skills and experience to match those needs with the best solution for you.  

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